Help Not Required
(Ok so half way through i realised this was kinda similar to another peice i wrote a while ago but hopefully this version is better?? lol idk)
Monica knocks on Jack’s office door, a stack of papers in hand, she wishes so much that this was a social call but she has so much to get done, they both do. “Yeah”? Jack answers nonchalantly,. Monica pushes the door open with her arm and slams the stack of papers down on the table nearest to her: “Ugh thank goodness for that”. Jack laughs: “Hello to you too”. “Sorry, Jamie’s been up my ass about”- She stops suddenly, looking up at him, he’s got a tiny cut on his face, just underneath his eye, it’s not as noticeable as the other’s he’s had: “Again Jack”? Jack shrugs: “What”? “You know what“. She shuts the door behind them “How long are you gonna keep letting her hurt you like this”?! “I don’t know what you’re talking about, what were you saying about Jamie being on you”? Monica sighs, going over to him, crouching down and slowly reaching out to touch the cut, it still looks fresh and feels as though the blood is only just starting to dry, but he doesn’t flinch, wordlessly, Monica crawls over to the mini fridge in the corner of the office, going to the freezer compartment and pulling out some ice, wrapping it in a cloth and going back over to Jack, only then does he move away from her: “What are you doing you said Jamie was up your ass”. “That doesn’t matter right now does it”? She tries to place the ice pack on Jack’s face but he backs away again: “Course it does”. He answers, going to type something on his computer but Monica takes his hands: “Jack”… She whispers softly. Jack swallows: “Don’t make me open up, not again, i’m so sick of talking about it, can’t I just have one day where I don’t think about it”? “Where I can pretend it’s not happening”? Monica nods, despite how desperately she wants to drag him out of the situation kicking and screaming: “Ok, just let me do this, I won’t say a word I promise”. She slowly touches under Jack’s eye with the cloth of ice: “Hows that”? he nods: “Yeah, soothing”. She smiles. They sit in silence like that until the swelling goes down. Monica places the ice pack on the table in front of them and goes to the other side of the room to begin work: “Thanks Mon”. Monica smiles: “Anytime”.
“Hows it going”? Jack asks 20 minutes later. Monica groans: “Ugh there’s just so much”! Why can’t she do some of this marking it’s her class after all I was only supervising”! Jack laughs again: “Pretty sure it’s called delegation”. Jack answers using air quotes, Monica rolls her eyes: “Can she do that”?! Jack shrugs: “Who knows, but let’s face it Jamie Mitchell never plays by the rules, and as long as we’re getting paid extra who cares”? Monica sighs: “Typical Jack, always looking on the bright side”. Jack raises his coffee cup to her and she smiles: “How about you”? “How’s yours coming”? “Not bad, I got into this one student’s story about a broken finger that talked”. Monica makes a face and Jack cackles, passing her the paper. Monica reads through it, making a disturbed face before passing it back to Jack: “Let me guess, Allie G right”? “How did you know”?! “Oh i’ve heard how out there her imagination can be”. She sags in her seat: “I wish I got to mark the English Lit students instead of all this science crap”. She complains, flipping through her pile: “Sorry Mon”. “Mm”. “Let me give you a hand”. He holds out a hand expectantly: “Really”? “Yes really, least I can do”. Monica tips her head back in relief: “Jack you effin life savour”! “This is why I love you”. They both freeze: “Sorry… I didn’t mean- well… I mean I did but”- “it’s fine Mon”. Monica sighs, handing him some of her stack of papers.
A few more minutes pass and both of them have only a couple of papers loft to mark: “Break time I think”. Monica declares putting her pen down across her final few sheets: “Agreed”. Jack replies doing the same: “Thanks for the help, I wouldn’t even be half way through if it wasn’t for you”. He smiles: “Of course, besides like I said it’s the least I could do”. She smiles back at him: “I’ll have to return the favour at some point”. Jack smirks then remembers himself and clears his throat: “No need”. Monica’s face falls a little: “I erm… I told Steve I couldn’t go out with him on Saturday”. “Why”? “You know why, and I know what you said but it doesn’t mean I have to live a lie you know”? “Unlike me you mean”? “I didn’t say that”. “You didn’t have to”. “Jack if you wanna pretend things aren’t how they are that’s your prerogative alright but you can’t do it forever”. “It’s just for a day”. “But its not though is it”? “You’ve been pretending for the past two years that Taylor isn’t”- “Don’t say it”! Jack interrupts lifting a hand to silence her, she sighs: “And you’ve been pretending for the past two months that you’re not in love with someone else”. Jack swallows: “I love Taylor”… She nods: “I know you do, but does she love you”? He falls silent, weighing up her words: “She does… she isn’t always like that… you know, i’m almost numb to everything now, sometimes… sometimes I don’t even feel it, I don’t even care, sometimes…. Sometimes, I think it’s worth it, because after all the fights, all the shouting, all the times she’s hurt me… everything just melts away, every day is like our honeymoon, and it feels peaceful and safe and we laugh, and we communicate properly, it’s like none of the other stuff exists, I know it sounds pathetic, b-but I need her, I don’t wanna be alone with my thoughts, they scare me”. Monica sighs, crossing the room, crouching down in front of him and taking his hands in her’s again: “I know that’s how it feels, but we’ve talked about this remember”? ”She’s manipulating you into thinking you can’t survive without her so she can keep controlling you”. He looks down at his lap: “Maybe”… He mumbles before looking back up at her: “But she does love me, I-I know she does, I mean…. She wouldn’t be trying so hard to keep me around if she didn’t would she”? “She wouldn’t work so hard to make things up to me if none of it was real”. Monica sighs again: “Baby that isn’t love… come on you know what love feels like don’t you”? “Love is what I feel every time I look at you, what I know you feel every time you look at me, love is what I know we both feel every time we kiss”. Jack shakes his head: “Don’t say things like that-“ “Love is wanting the best for each other, making the other feel safe and seen and heard and valued, love protects”- “Taylor is protective”! “No she’s possessive there’s a difference, and can you honestly tell me she wants the best for you”? “Because someone who wants the best for you, who really loves you wants you to be happy, and are you”? There’s a pause: “She’s trying, it’s not like this is an every day thing, A-and we’ve been going to therapy, she’s a lot less quick tempered than she used to be”. Monica’s eyes land on the cut just underneath Jack’s eye: “Don’t look at it, it doesn’t hurt, I told you, I don’t even feel it anymore”. “If she’d hit you in the eye you would have, what’s it gonna take Jack”? “You lying dead on the floor one day”? Jack remains silent for a longer moment this time: “At least I’d be with my mum”. The words leave his mouth so quietly Monica has to do a mental double take, but Jack looks less tense, almost relieved to have finally been able to give voice to what he’s been thinking for months. Monica swallows, she can feel the urge to burst into tears bubbling up within her but she pushes past it: “Please don’t say that”. Jack shoots up: “Why not”?! “It’s the truth, my mum was the only person I ever felt safe with and she’s not here”! Monica stands up too: “You’re safe with me”. “But i’m not though am i”?! “Every time we’re together i’m worried about someone finding out, that it’ll get back to Taylor, that Taylor’ll do something to you and i’ll lose you”. “Jack that isn’t gonna happen”- “You don’t know that, and it’s not even just that, I told you I was sick of talking about it and yet here we are”! Monica sighs: “You’re right, i’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said the L word I just”…. She lowers her head: “I just missed telling you that’s all”. “Love is also understanding Mon, and you don’t you don’t understand”. “Then tell me”. Jack’s eyes begin to water: “My mum was the only person I could trust, I talk to my dad maybe once a month and he never wastes an opportunity to let me know what a disappointment I am, I haven’t got any other family around, my friends are either busy with their own lives or have cut me off completely, where would I go”? “What would I do”? “i’ve got no money that’s not her’s too so she could probably track my bank activity”- “Jack”… “No, no you’ve got no idea, i’d be all alone with my thoughts, thoughts about how worthless and stupid I am”! “But you’re not”- Monica answers, carefully approaching him. Jack’s breathing quickens: “Every time… e-every time I think about… l-leaving i”…. Jack’s breathing becomes shorter and shorter until he’s practically gasping for air, Monica grabs hold of his hands trying to steady him: “I… can’t…. I can’t breathe”…. “It’s ok, just take it nice and slowly ok”? Jack nods. Monica takes a few deep breaths encouraging Jack to do the same, after a few moments of this he begins to sob: “I’m sorry Mon…. i’m sorry i’m not strong enough”…. He sinks to the floor and she wraps her arms around him, enveloping him in a tight hug.
After a while Jack pulls away: “We should get back to it or Jamie’ll be up both our asses”. He chuckles: “I need you to know a few things first Jack”. “Monica please don’t make me say something i’ll regret”. Monica shrugs: “Ok fine, just let me say this and if you never wanna talk about it again we won’t”. Jack sighs: “Fine”. “First of all you are strong”. “No i’m not, that’s why I just had a panic attack at the mere thought of”- He breaks off, taking a steadying breath: “Second”? “You wouldn’t be on your own, i’d be here”. Jack swallows: “For how long”? “As long as you wanted”. “What if that was a really long time”? She smiles: “I’d love nothing more Jack, and we wouldn’t even have to sneak around, and i’d never let Taylor find out about us you know that, even if she did, I can more than handle her”. Monica smiles hopefully at him: “I’m sorry, i’m not trying to rush you I just…. You might not feel very valuable right now but I promise you you are, your mum would wanna see you live life to the fullest, so please don’t give up ok”? “I”- Suddenly the office phone rings, making them both jump, Jack reaches across the table to answer it: “Hello”? “Yeah sorry no I had to push that meeting back”. “25th”. He laughs: “Don’t let her here you say that or you won’t get that raise you’ve been gunning for all year”. He laughs again: “Ok i’ll tell her, ok, thanks, bye”. He hangs up before turning back to Monica: “That was Steve”. Monica’s face falls: “Oh”…. “Yeah, he wanted to know about the meeting for next term’s new students”. A tense silence surrounds them: “You should give him another chance, tell him Saturday’s back on”. “Is that really what you want Jack”? He lets out a long breath before placing a hand on Monica’s cheek, running his thumb up and down it: “There are so many things I want Mon, so many things I need, so many things that are out of my reach because i’m such a coward”. “No you’re not”. He nods: “Yes I am, and that’s ok, like I said Taylor and I are in counselling now, it isn’t like we’re not working on our issues”. “But”- “And if she does kill me… at least i’ll be free, and i’ll be with my mum, and I won’t be looking over my shoulder all paranoid, coz even if I do”- He stops, the word suddenly stuck in his throat like he could choke on it: “Even if I tried to move forward, i’d never be free of it, not up here”. He places a finger to his head with his free hand: “I’d always be scared she’ll find me, or that it’ll happen again with someone else, or that she’ll hurt you”. Monica looks like she might be about to interject so he continues: “And I know you said you could handle her, but I don’t wanna take that risk, i’ll never be able to trust anyone ever again”- “You can trust me”. Monica whisperers back, Jack shakes his head: “No I can’t , i’m sorry, if I can’t trust my family and friends to stick by me, if I can’t trust Taylor, how am I supposed to trust you”? Monica’s lip quivers: “How can you say that”? “I’m nothing like her, i’d never hurt you, ever”. “I know you wouldn’t physically, but how do I know you won’t leave like everyone else does”? “How do I know you won’t get sick of me”? “Jack I swear to you from the bottom of my heart”- He shakes his head: “You can’t make that kind of promise Mon, and that’s ok too”. “Jack”… “No Mon, do you have any idea how loud the silence is sometimes”? “When she won’t talk to me for days at a time”? “You know what hurts way more than any insult, any punch, any kick”? “The ache in my chest when I think about life without her, at least this way I know what i’m getting, there’s at least some safety in that, at least I won’t feel like i’m jumping out of a plane without a parachute, besides, if I can keep her happy and we keep doing everything they taught us in therapy, there’ll be no problems”. He wipes away the tears that slowly fall down Monica’s face: “I’m sorry baby”. He whispers softly: “i’m not crying for me, i’m crying for you, can’t you see how messed up this is”? He shakes his head: “I don’t care, so no more wasting tears over me ok”? He gives her a small smile: “You work on things with Steve and i’ll work on things with Tay and let’s go back to just being friends ok”? “I miss how things used to be before we stupidly decided to complicate them”. They both let out sheepish chuckles: “S-so… friends yeah”? “You still want me in your life at least”? “Of course, i’d never just cut you off Mon you know that, besides, I need all the friends I can get right now”. Monica gives a reluctant sigh and nods: “Ok”… She leans in, half expecting Jack to jerk away but when he doesn’t she kisses him softly, despite himself he pulls her closer wrapping his arms around her waist, his hands travel up and down her back making her shiver, finally they pull apart: “I’m right here if you change your mind”. He tucks a strand of hair behind her ear: “Thank you, for everything… I love you too by the way… i’m so glad you know that”. She smiles: “Of course I do”. He kisses her forehead, making her heart flutter, and somewhere deep inside she knows this won’t be the last time.
Skates And Heartbreak
“Carful Sammy”! David yelled anxiously as he watched his daughter put on her roller skates for the first time: “Are you sure you don’t want a hand”? “No daddy I’m doing it”! Sammy protested as she fastened up the skates and began to stand, after wobbling for a few seconds she fell back down on her butt: “oof”. David chuckled: “Told you you might need some help”. He reached out a hand to help her but she didn’t take it, desiring instead to pull herself up, after a couple more falls she managed to steady herself: “Ta da”! “See daddy, you don’t always have to help me, i’m getting bigger you know”. David smiled proudly at her: “I know baby, are you gonna let me see you skate now”? Sammy nodded: “Mmhmm”. Sammy began slowly gliding around the room: “Weeee, this is fun its like I’m driving”! “No, wait, flying”! “i’m flying daddy”! “Weee”! David laughed again: “So you like them then”? He called as she skated passed him: “Best present ever daddy thank you”! He continued to watch as his little girl skated around their living room, he was happy to have been able to buy her the skates but he couldn’t help thinking about Ellie, the skates were the exact present she said she’d always planned on giving Sammy for her 8th birthday. He didn’t talk about her much to Sammy, he didn’t trust himself not to cry in front of her. He swallowed a lump in his throat as he thought about how excited Ellie got as Sammy’s 8th birthday got closer and closer, she’d count down the months till when she could give her what she considered every 8 year old’s rite of passage. David made sure to get the exact ones Ellie had been going on and on about for months: they were purple, Sammy’s favourite colour and very very sparkly. He sighed as Sammy passed by him again, she noticed the look on his face and stopped: “A-are you thinking about mummy”? “E-erm no baby, I-i’m just thinking”- Sammy cut him off with a hug, David pulled her onto his lap and held her tight, fighting the urge to burst into tears: “I’m not a baby anymore daddy, you can tell me if you’re sad, why are you trying to be normal”? he sighed: “I’m sorry baby, I just wanted today to be special for you that’s all, no sad talk”. “But we never talk about her”. “I know… i’m sorry…. Your mummy would be so proud of you you know that”? “You’re getting to be such a big strong girl, she’s the one who gave me the idea for the skates”. Sammy gasped: “Really”?! David smiled fondly at her: “Yeah”. Sammy looked up to the ceiling: “Thank you mummy, daddy and I really miss you but thank you for the skates”! That’s when the dam broke, and all the emotion David had been holding back these past couple months came flooding out as he began to sob: “S-sammy…. Baby I’m so sorry… daddy’s so sorry”. Sammy wrapped her arms around him as he cried: “Don’t be sorry daddy, you’re allowed to cry, I cry too sometimes”. Tears began to stream down Sammy’s own face as the two held each other. After a while they both sat in comfortable silence: “Some birthday huh”? David commented attempting to lighten the mood a little: “No party just tears”. Sammy giggled: “I didn’t want s party anyway just cake and you, and you got me skates”! “The best skates ever”! she kissed him on the cheek: “I love you daddy”. “I love you too baby… and i’m so sorry about mummy”… Sammy sighed, snuggling into him: “Me too, can we talk about her more please”? “So it feels like she’s still here”? David swallowed: “I’ll try my beautiful girl”. He answered stroking her hair and kissing her forehead. He meant it, he really would try to talk about Ellie more, even if every time he said her name it made him feel like he could crumble at any second, if that’s what his daughter needed he’d try, just like he did with the skates, it was probably time he stopped trying to block it all out anyway.
Hey again Oct!
Why so cold baby? Your face feels frozen, come, let’s wrap up warm and start counting down to Christmas, tomorrow our feet will crunch some of your fallen leaves, let’s have some hot chocolate as we spend an extra hour wrapped In each other’s warm embrace, after all you’re only here for 31 days, why is it always scary right when you’re about to leave?
With Love xx
All are alliteratable!
Andy ate Anna’s Apples
Bob brought Billy’s burgers
Camilla can’t cook
Dawn does dance
Eat Eathan’s eggs
feed Faith four foxes
God’s grace gets greater
has Heather had her ham?
Inda invited Ina into illegal igloos
Just jump Joe!
keren kissed Kyle
Lauren loves Lucy’s long legs
Marvin made me move momentarily
Orpha ordered orenge onesies
Peter poked Piper’s pickled peppers
Quay quickly quoted: “Quinn’s quarter”!
Ruth rushed Rachel ruthlessly
Sam slepped soundly
Tracy’s torus told Tracy’s turtle to teach Tracy tough tricks
Una uses unorthorisd umbrellas
Will went walking with Wending without warning Wayne
Yasmine, you’re yelling you yellow yet!
Zoe’s zany zoo
I looked outside my window like I’d done every Monday morning. it was raining, not your typical autumn rain, this one was coming down hard, so hard in fact, I wondered if a storm was about to hit. He was running behind schedule this morning. What’s taking him so long? I wondered. Then, finally, there he was, i smiled wide and pressed my palms against the windowpane: “hello baby”. I whispered as he walked down the familiar path to work, I knew he was going to work because last month I just so happened to be there at a table reading the paper, I don’t think he saw me though, probably for the best, I couldn’t have him seeing me too often and getting all suspicious. Phone at the ready, I took a picture of him as he cross the street, I was desperate to open the window and call out to him, but I knew I couldn’t, I had to wait, bide my time, I knew it would all be worth it once I finally had him in my arms.
Gavin’s shift was going swimmingly. It was just like any ordinary day, people ordering, long lines, a few strange orders, nothing too unusual. Halfway through the lunch rush, he spotted a woman sat at the very back, reading a newspaper, or was that pretending to read? He wondered. She kept peering up at him from beneath the pages and would look back down when she realised he’d seen her. She did look a little familiar: long brown hair, average height, probably in her early 20s, though, he couldn’t quite place her. After about 15 minutes of this, he decided to go over to her: “Hi”. He greeted, wearing a polite smile: “Did you need anything”? She put the paper down and smiled somewhat nervously: “Um, n-no, I’m fine thanks”. “You sure”? He asked, “Seemed like you were trying to get my attention earlier”. The woman giggled, rolling her eyes: “You’d like that wouldn’t you”? He looked confused: “Excuse me”? She blushed, embarrassed: “Oh, er, S-sorry, th-that was my stupid attempt at a joke”. She chuckled shyly, before fixing her attention on her half bitten nails. He found the interaction a bit odd, but didn’t dwell on it too much: “Ok, well if everything’s alright, I should get back to work”. He informed, gesturing to his workstation. “Wait, how long have you got till lunch”? He pulled out his phone, looking at the screen: “Er, about 5 minutes, why”? He answered, putting his phone away again: “you look like you could use a break, why don’t you sit down here for awhile”? She smiled, gesturing to the seat in front of her: “um… I don’t know, I really should finish my shift and I said I’d meet a mate for lunch”…. “Oh come on”. She insisted: “No one’ll mind you taking a few minutes extra, then you can go and meet your little friend, I’ll even treat you to coffee if you like”. Gavin considered this for a moment: this was a total stranger, why was she so interested in him? She was right though, he was due a break anyway, what harm could it do? besides, he thought, maybe I can try and work out why her face looks so familiar. “I’ll see what I can do”. She smiled as he disappeared to find some cover.
Moments later and a cup of coffee in hand Gavin sat in front of the mysterious woman: “Thanks for the coffee”. He took a sip: “No problem”. She half beamed, why’s she so happy? He pondered, I wonder if i look familiar to her too.“So er, why all the interest”? He asked casually: “No reason, just fancied being a Good Samaritan”. She smiled, he laughed: “Do this often do you, buy coffee for strange café barista’s”? The woman leaned back, intrigued, crossing her arms, a mischievous glint in her eye: “Ohhh, are you strange then”? Gavin laughed again: “I didn’t say that”! She giggled: “Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me”. He rolled his eyes playfully , loosening up a little: “So what brings you here then”? “Other than buying drinks for strange men”? “Oh, I was kinda at a loose end so I thought”…. She shrugged: …”Why not check out the local shops”. Gavin took another gulp of coffee: “So, you’re new here”? “Yeah just moved a few months ago”. She replied: “A few months”?! He laughed: “That’s not new”. She gave another nervous giggle: “I guess you could say I don’t get out much”. “Clearly”. “Hey, come on is that any way to talk to someone who just bought you coffee”? Gavin tittered: “My apologies”. “Anyway since I had some free time on my hands lately I decided I’d do some exploring”. He nodded his approval: “Fair enough, liking what you’ve found so far”? She nodded: “Yeah I am, actually I”- she was cut off suddenly by his phone vibrating in his pocket: “Sorry, this might be my mate”. Her face fell slightly as he dug out his phone to read the text: “Yeah, that’s him, sorry I’d better get off”. He apologised, scrambling to get out the door: “Thanks for the coffee though”. He raced out before she even had a chance to draw breath.
I came home that afternoon, took off my coat and shoes, discarded them on the floor and spun around, a happy, giddy spin. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so happy. I felt lighter than air, like I was gliding, floating on cloud 9. Finally, I finally, actually had a whole conversation with Gavin Thomas! After years of pining for him, years of admiring him from afar, months of watching him from my window, I actually got to talk to him for more than two seconds! It was amazing, more amazing than I could’ve ever imagined. I figured he might not remember me, it had been a long time, but it felt so good to hear his voice again: it had gotten deeper, his eyes were still as green as springtime, and that hair, oh gosh that hair, it took all my strength not to reach out and touch it! The banter? Absolutely indescribable! Unforgettable! I was so nervous at first, I barely knew what I was saying, but once he’d sat down and started getting comfortable around me, I felt just as at ease as two years ago. At least I did until his stupid friend interrupted us. How dare he, how dare he ruin this for me, I’ve waited a years for this! I seethed. His little friend may prove problematic for my plan, but it’s ok, baby steps, like they always used to say in therapy.
I sighed happily, picked up my coat and found the receipt from Gavin’s coffee. Clutching it tight, I thought about how I bought Gavin Thomas a coffee like I always imagined doing back at uni, going off campus for study dates, getting a quick pick me up before classes, but unfortunately he was too popular to notice me, and I was too shy to make myself noticed, but none of that mattered now, because I did it! I got him to say more than one sentence to me, and I bought him coffee. I snapped another pic on my phone and looked through all the others I had of him, mostly of the back of his head but still, all mine, and one day soon, he would be all mine too.
I hated Tuesdays, I hated every day that wasn’t Monday to be honest, ugh why did Gavin only work at the café on Mondays? It was the only time he ever passed by my window. The rest of the week always felt so… blah. My Tuesdays usually consisted of social media snooping, his Facebook was private and I couldn’t add him as a friend without arousing suspicion, however, I did find some selfies I took great pleasure in photographing. He also had Twitter and Instagram which allowed me to snoop around to my heart’s content. I had to stop myself commenting obviously, sure, I could’ve made fake accounts, but he probably would’ve found that strange too, some random account constantly commenting on all of his posts. But soon enough, I’d be able to add him on everything, I sighed happily and reached for my phone on my nightstand, i opened his Twitter first, nothing was new except a couple statuses:
@GavT97 20/09/21 13:30pm
Shout out to strangers who bring you coffee I guess!
The door to you
I can’t stop opening the door to you, to us, behind the door is the grave you buried our friendship in, along with the time capsule filled with once treasured memories. I dig it up all the time, inwardly I cry over what used to be, the fragments of our once beautiful story. I miss you, I can’t seem to stop, I know there’s a small part of me that always will. It’s not like before, it doesn’t ache like it used to, but there’s a reason I still think of you.
I hate you! Why did you have to come back?! I was doing so well forgetting about you yet one text was all it took to send me spiralling again, why do you still even have my number? Please tell me you’ve deleted it, I just wanna move on. But I don’t, not really, I don’t wanna forget you I mean what happens after that? But I do, I wish I could forget we ever met, burn down the door, the memories, everything! I wish I could lock the door and forget where I put the key. I wish we could simply be acquaintances and just catch up every so often without it blindsiding me. I wish 2011 was the last time I heard from you, but it’s been 8 years of you coming back, 8 years of me letting you.
I wish we’d carried on growing up together like we planned, being roommates, each other’s bridesmaids, when I saw you got married a couple years ago it reminded me of how you lied. I love you, you know I do, that’s why you pick me up at whim like you do isn’t it? You know I’ll come back,.. I don’t wanna come back not anymore. I wish we could just have one last conversation, one last hug, one last fight, one last laugh, then shake hands, light a match and finally burn everything down together, finally agreeing to never look back.
April heard a knock at the door, she opened it to find her boyfriend Ben standing there wearing a tired smile:
“H-hi”. She stammered
“You gonna invite me in or”….?
“Yeah sorry it’s just a shock that’s all”. She replied, opening the door wider to let him in, she closed it behind them and followed him into the living room.
“So when did they release you”?
“Yesterday, mum came to pick me up”.
“I could’ve done that, you should’ve called”!
“You didn’t come once in 5 months April, why would you have come to pick me up”?
She looked down, swallowing a lump in her throat: “I’m sorry”. She whispered.
Ben gave her another soft smile: “It’s ok, I don’t blame you, I know it must’ve been a lot seeing me like that”.
She looked back up at him: “I did write to you every Friday, I never got a reply”.
“I wanted to… I-I tried, but they said it wouldn’t be good for my recovery, every time I picked up the pen I just started crying… and then I’d get worked up coz you weren’t there I just…. I really needed you to hold me”.
April rushed over to him and wrapped him in a tight hug as they both began to cry: “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry baby, I’m here now, I’m here now baby”. She placed a gentle kiss into his hair. After a few minutes they sat in silence on the sofa holding hands.
“Can I make you some tea”? April asked, finally allowing herself to relax.
Ben shook his head: “I’m ok thanks”. He sighed: “I’m sorry, I promised myself I’d get through this without crying, I just needed to see you that’s all”.
“That’s ok, you can cry, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before is it”?
Ben turned to face her fully: “But that’s the point, I’m tired of being weak around you, I-“.
April put a hand to his cheek: “Baby there’s nothing weak about you ok”? “You never have to hide how you feel from me”. April sighed too, pulling back: “I didn’t not come because I thought you were weak or because I was a shamed or scared of you, I just…. I thought you’d hate me, I kept replaying the day they took you away over and over in my head, the way you kept screaming my name, begging me to help you”…. A chill shot through her at the thought,
he took her hand again: “I’ve never hated you for that Ap, I understand that I needed help and I’m glad I got it, I guess I just needed time to process what was going on in my head, and when I finally woke up to reality I finally realised how bad things were getting, how much pressure it was putting on you, you were right to call them”.
“It’s not that I didn’t wanna look after you anymore I just felt so out of my depth”-
“I know, I know”. Ben replied nodding.
“I did want to come, I made all the arrangements multiple times…. I’d get to the front door and picture you in some tiny room curled up in a ball crying your eyes out, I couldn’t stand it”.
Ben gave her a playful smirk, shrugging: “oh I dunno, the room wasn’t that tiny”.
April rolled her eyes but gave him a small smile back:
“It wasn’t so bad toward the end, my mind actually managed to shut up”.
April nodded encouragingly: “That’s good”.
Ben nodded too: “Yeah I got a lot of stuff off my chest, took a lot of walks, even did some art, it was really therapeutic”.
“Have they put you on medication”?
“Yeah erm, they gave me some anti depressants and anti psychotics, theres this other one I can’t pronounce”. He gave a light chuckle: “Bet I’d rattle if you shook me”.
April smiled back at him again: “So where’s all your stuff”?
“At my mum’s, wanted to see how this conversation played out first before, you know”….
April nodded: “Does she hate me”?
“Nah she understands it was hard for you, she just wished she could’ve been more convincing that’s all”.
“I’m sorry”. April answered
ducking her head again, Ben squeezed her hand causing her to look back up at him: “It’s ok”. “My theorist wants to do a few home visits, they think it’ll help with the transition back into the world”.
April nodded: “Ok, and how do you feel about it”?
“Good, good yeah, you were right before, it definitely helps to talk… do you think…. Do you think you’d like to be there”?
“Am I allowed”
“Of course, they said whatever made me feel comfortable”.
April gave him a fond smile: “I’ll be there, so, where’s home for you now”? “Back at your mum’s or”…?
“Whatever you feel comfortable with, I mean.. do you want me to come back”?
“Of course I do”. She wrapped him in another tight hug,
he pulled away a little after a few moments and cupped her cheek: “Oh April I’ve missed you so much”. He admitted softly, stroking her cheek.
“I missed you too”. She whispered back.
“Thank you so much for your letters by the way, I red each and every one of them so many times I can’t even count, you have no idea how much they meant to me”.
“Surprised they didn’t just make you resent me for not being there for you in person”.
“Oh baby, I could never resent you, I love you so much”.
“I love you too”. Allowing her guard to drop completely, she kissed him slowly: “mmm, I forgot how good you taste”.
“I could never forget”. Ben pulled her back in for another long, slow kiss.
April sighed happily: “So tell me, what was your favourite letter”?
“The one you wrote me on Valentine’s Day, it let me know you hadn’t forgotten about me, that you still loved me, I took it with me to bed every night for weeks”.
April blushed, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear: “I’m glad I could still help in some way, I want you to know that I will always love you ok”?
“Ditto”. Ben kissed her again:
“Let’s never be apart again ok”
April nodded, giving a hopeful smile: “Deal”.
aw, are we writing again?
i once had a bath in the City of Bath
Cain brought his Cain into school
I wanna marry Dawn at the crack of dawn
Even I don’t think they’re even
going to the fair sounds fair to me
Great was the grated cheese!
hi, are you high??
indigo wanted to paint the sky indego
J is Jay’s favourite letter
Sir Pete was knighted over night!
Lou is going to the loo
May was born in May
no, I don’t know the time
Oh, O is your favourite letter
i peed in the pool for 5p
you oBly gave me a quater of the quatrr pounder!
Ray is just such a ray of sunshine!
some people like a good sum every now and then
too many people use the number two these days
Varooka From Charlie and the chocolate factory was as rotten as the varooka on my toe!
we have to wee wee on the floor!
you’re neglecting your kids
Tainted Love ( Trigger Warning Mentions of abuse)
(this is part of a larger story I’m working on altered slightly)
Taylor dropped off her clients dog one evening before heading home
: …“Thanks Mrs Feilds”. “Aw no problem, she’s no trouble are you princess”? Taylor bent down and petted Mrs Stevens’s dog: “No you’re not, no you’re not”. “You’re so good with her”. Mrs Stevens remarked as Taylor stood back up to face her: “Aw, it definitely helps when you enjoy the company you’re with”. Mrs Steven’s smiled as Taylor gave the dog an affectionate pat on the head: “How much do I owe you”? “£30”. Mrs Stevens located her purse and dug out £30, she handed it to Taylor: “Thanks, take care”. Taylor answered giving Mrs Stevens a wave: “You too dear”. Mrs Stevens replied as Taylor headed toward the door. Once outside, Taylor looked around to see if Ellie and Cody were around, having not spotted them, she breathed a sigh of relief before starting for home. She walked a few steps forward and was about to round that first corner on the way to her’s when all of a sudden, Ellie and Cody appeared seemingly out of nowhere: “Boo”! Ellie exclaimed, Taylor jumped a little: “What are you doing here”?! “We just finished up, we were gonna come get you from Mrs Stevens’s”! Taylor shook her head: “Listen guys I’m really not feeling well”- “blah blah blah blah blah”. Ellie answered as she and Cody each linked an arm through each of Taylor’s, forcing her along with them: “Honestly guys, it’s been a long day”- She protested, looking over her shoulder: “One drink isn’t gonna hurt we just wanna catch up”! Cody answered.
They entered their local club and Ellie took a seat on one of the bar stools with a “whoop”! Cody and Taylor closely following: “So what’ll it be first”? Cody asked, rubbing his hands together: “First”? “You said one”! Taylor answered in shock: “Ah ah ah you said one”. Ellie pointed out, playfully poking Taylor in the chest: “Besides, you’ll love it once things get going”. They looked around to see people starting to loosen up for the night: “”I’ll have a Rum and Coke and Tay’ll have”…. Ellie gave Taylor an expectant look, she sighed and plopped down on the seat beside Ellie: “Sex On The Beach”. Ellie nodded with a smile: “Sex On The Beach”! She repeated to the bar tender as Cody got out his card to pay.
A few moments later Ellie, Taylor and Cody sat at a table enjoying their drinks and chatting: “So, do you wanna hear the goss on the others”? Ellie asked excitedly, Taylor turned to Cody, jerking a thumb over at Ellie: “Cody, what’s wrong with her”? She turned back to face Ellie: “Did you really corral me all the way here just so you could talk shit on the others”? “We did say this was a catch up”. Cody defended Ellie with a shrug before taking a swig of his beer, Taylor turned to face him again: “Yeah with each other”. Ellie raised an eyebrow: “So you don’t wanna hear about Steph getting a boob job last month”? Taylor gasped: “Last month”?! “How did I miss that”?! “Because you’ve been avoiding us that’s how”! Cody answered, giving Taylor’s shoulder a light shove: “I haven’t been avoiding you it’s just, Jack and I needed to take some time for ourselves you know”? Taylor answered before sipping at her cocktail: “Yeah and we totally get that it’s just”…. “We kinda got the feeling you were still mad about what happened at Charley’s 27th”. “I’d have told you if I was, anyway what made Steph decide to get a boob job”?! Taylor asked intrigued, leaning in with her elbows on the table: “I don’t know, she just said she wanted bigger boobs coz they looked nice and she wanted to be able to feel them bob up and down and jiggle”. Ellie wiggled her body around demonstrating, they all burst out laughing:, “Have you really not seen her around”? “Guess I’ve not been paying much attention, I will now though I assure you”. Taylor affirmed with a nod: “Oh can we tell her about our trip now”? Cody asked, giddily: “Ugh it was amazing Tay”! Ellie dug out her phone and began showing Taylor photos of her and Cody in France: “Oh wow”! “Yeah and that was when we went zip lining, that’s us at The Eiffel Tower”. “Aww you guys look so happy”. “Yeah it was the best”! “That’s us trying some french food”. “I begged Ellie to try some escargots but she was like, ewww no”! Cody mocked flapping his hands about dramatically: “Yeah no thanks, you could not pay me enough money to eat snails”. “I bet I could”! Taylor answered, looking at her amused: “Nope”. Ellie answered shaking her head: “Aaaah”! “Oh my gosh this is my jam”! Ellie screamed suddenly before shoving her phone back into her handbag: “Come on guys let’s dance”! She pulled Taylor and Cody up by their arms and dragged them toward the middle of the dance floor: “Don’t forget the drinks”! Cody raced back to their table, grabbed their drinks and rushed back to join Taylor and Ellie in the dance floor.
Meanwhile, throughout the late afternoon/evening, Monica and Jack had been doing some paperwork in Jack’s office and taking the odd break here and there. They had just finished all the filing by this point, and had set aside the papers. Jack sighed before stretching his arms: “Thanks Monica, you’ve been a big help”. “All part of the service”. Monica saluted: “Do I get to hear a song now”? “That was the deal, any requests”? “Hmm, how about something from The Lion King”? “Ok, how’s this”…? “From the day we arrive on the planet, And, blinking, step into the sun.There's more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done, there's far too much to take in here, more to find than can ever be found.But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky keeps great and small on the endless round, It's the circle of life, and it moves us all through despair and hope, through faith and love.'Til we find our place, on the path unwinding, In the circle, the circle of life”. Jack sang in a rich, soulful voice. When he finished, Monica clapped enthusiastically: “Haha, thank you, was, was that ok”? “Jack that was amazing, honestly”. Jack smiled: “Thanks, can I hear you sing a little something now”? Monica giggled: “Aw no I’m a little intimidated now”. “Don’t be, if it helps I’ll close my eyes so I’m not looking at you”. Jack offered, closing his eyes making Monica giggle again: “Ok, erm”…. “Today, is gonna be the day that they're gonna throw it back to you, and by now, you should've somehow realised what you gotta do, I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now, And backbeat, the word is on the street that the fire in your heart is out, I'm sure you've heard it all before, but you never really had a doubt, I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now. And all the roads we have to walk are winding, and all the lights that lead us there are blinding, there are many things that I, would like to say to you, but I don't know how. Because maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me, and after all, you're my wonderwall”. Her voice was light but strong as she sung, afterwards, Jack opened his eyes: “fantastic”. Monica gave an shy smile: “Yeah”? “You’ve got real talent Monica, you’re gonna ace that audition, I’ll miss having you around you only just got here”. Monica laughed: “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves”. “You’ve got to work on being more confident Monica, you’ve got a lot of potential”. Monica smiled:““Thanks Jack, that means a lot”. “No problem”. Jack stood up: “Right let’s get these papers sorted out and we can”- He stopped suddenly when he picked up his phone and saw the time, his face growing a little pale: “What”? “What is it”? Monica asked concerned: “I er I should get going”. He told her, beginning to gather his things and walk quickly toward the door: “Can you sort the papers into piles for me”? “Er sure has something happened”? “No no it’s just my wife’s expecting me, I told her I’d be home by half 9 she’s got something planned”. He informed, opening the door: “Ok, well don’t worry I’ll sort this out”. “Thanks, see you tomorrow”. He answered hurriedly before making his exit not even looking back: “Have a nice evening”. She called after him, not knowing whether or not he even heard her.
Jack opened the door of his and Taylor’s home at 9:28 looking a little flustered, he called out to her as he placed his briefcase on the floor and threw his keys on the coffee table: “Hey, under the wire again, you proud”? “Tay”? He wondered around the house but couldn’t find her. Unbeknownst to Jack, Taylor, Ellie and Cody had been at the club for a couple hours now, enjoying a few more drinks and dancing: “Seeee, aren’t you glad you came out in the end”? Ellie asked, beginning to feel the effects of the alcohol a bit, Taylor giggled, starting to feel it too: “Awwww yes Ells I am, I am baby”! She hiccuped: “Woooow”! Ellie yelled waving her arms around: “Knew you would”! At that moment Taylor felt her phone vibrate in her handbag: “Oh hang on who’s calling me”? She fished her phone out and saw Jack’s name flash across the screen, she answered happily: “Jacky”! “Baby I’m so glad you called”! “How are you baby”? “Erm where are you Tay”? A subtle feeling of guilt sobered her a fraction and she rubbed the back of her head: “Oh er, I’m just out will El El and CoCo”. “Oi”! “Don’t call me that”! Cody shouted in the background, she heard Jack sigh at the other end of the phone: “I thought we agreed”- “I know baby but they dragged me out unex- unex- un erm”… she groaned frustratedly at herself: “You know the word I mean”. “You can come too if you want Jack”! Ellie yelled, jumping up and down on Taylor’s shoulders causing her to wobble a little: “Erm no thanks Ellie that’s fine I’ll just see you at home Tay”. “Noooo please Jack in the box, We need you and your giant bean stalk”! Taylor turned to Ellie and Cody, moving the phone away from her ear: “Did I ever tell you that my Jack has a very very large bean stalk”? Ellie cackled hysterically while Cody wrinkled his nose in disgust: “Ok I know you’re drunk but that was way too much info”. Ellie snatched the phone from Taylor: “Please come, we might need a des-ig erm”- “Nated”. Taylor and Jack helped in unison: “That’s it”! Ellie exclaimed pointing: “So you lot only want me to come out so I can drive you back”? “No course not we want you but what’s the point paying for a cab when we’ve got a loving, caring friend slash husband”? Jack rolled his eyes: “I expect to see a Diabolo Grenadine at the bar when I get there”. Ellie squealed: “Yay”! “Thanks Jack see you in a bit”! She hung the phone up and handed it back to Taylor.
When Jack arrived they spotted him from where they were dancing, Taylor ran up to him and flung her arms around him: “You came”! “My hero”! She kissed him deeply. “Hey Jack, long time bud”. Cody remarked walking over and handing him his drink: “Thanks”. Jack replied, accepting it: “Come on guys let’s get back out there”! Ellie ordered, dragging Cody back out onto the dance floor, Taylor did the same with Jack. Out on the dance floor, Taylor wrapped her arms around Jack’s neck as he snaked an arm around her waist: “I’m so glad you came”! Taylor stated, tipping her head back then moving it back up to face him: “It was not the same without you Jack Jack”. He smiled half heartedly at her before taking a sip of his drink with his free hand.
A few hours later the gang filed into Jack and Taylor’s car and stopped outside Ellie and Cody’s house: “Th-thanks Jack”. Cody said as he unbuckled a half asleep Ellie and helped her out of the car: “Come on babe” “Mmm CoCo, hot CoCo”…. “Yes yes come on Els”. Cody answered: “Do you want a hand mate”? “No, no I’m fine mate it’s only across the road”. “Come on babe”. Cody answered, continuing to help Ellie: “Mmm”. Ellie croaked out sleepily as they make their way out of the car: “See ya Tay, thanks for a great evening”. “Yeah you too”. “See you round mate”. “Nice seeing you again Jack”. Cody closed the door and helped Ellie to their door. A tense silence filled the car as Jack resumed driving home: “Ar-are youu setup with me”? Taylor asked, attempting to break the silence but still feeling the alcohol a little: “I’m just confused, I thought we were concentrating on us for a while”. “Jack it was one night, I told you it was unex- erm”… She rolled her eyes at herself: “You know unexthingy”. She laughed a bit at that: “So what they just manhandled you there did they”? “Baisic-thingy yeah”! “Why are you getting so het up”? “It was one night, it’s your fault we even have that stupid ag-thingy in the first place”: “I told you things were getting better between us, that we didn’t have to keep doing it anymore I even said you could meet up with Ellie if that’s what you both wanted, you were the one who said you didn’t need anyone else, that you wanted it to be just us”. “Yeah and I still feel like that but you can’t get mad at me for axa-thingillily going out one time when it’s you that has the problem, why should I have to give up my friends it should only be you”! Taylor jabbed a finger into his arm: “I offered to give mine up too coz I was trying to be fair, silly me huh”? “You said you didn’t even like them that much anyway”! “Well I lied to you Jack ok”? “Assume I am always lying to you, look at you, I was having such a good night and you spoiled it you pathetic piece of shit”. “I didn’t have to answer your call you know, I could’ve just left you wondering where I was like you do when you come home late, huh, would you have liked that Jack”? “A taste of your own med- medi- Ahhh”! She shouted, bumping herself against the back of her chair: “You only answered because you wanted someone to drive you home”. “Ellie said that not me”! Taylor yelled again, pointing to herself: “I answered because I acta-thingy wanted you there with me, quala-thingy time we said remember”? Her voice broke a little as she said that: “More fool me”. She sat back in her seat, looking out of the window. Jack swallowed a lump in his throat: “I’m sorry Tay I-I just thought-“ “Thought what”? Taylor cut him off, leaning toward him again: “Go on, speak up, thought what”? Jack kept his mouth shut: “That’s what I thought”. Taylor settled back into her seat and resumed staring blankly out of the window.
The rest of the drive home passed by in silence until they stopped at their house, Jack shut off the engine before turning to Taylor: “Need a hand”? Taylor whirled around to face him: “Obvious-thingy Jack, I’m still tipsy aren’t I”? “What you only got half a brain cell in that fat head of yours”? Jack got out of his side of the car, opened the passenger door and helped Taylor out of the car, he locked the car up and they hobbled awkwardly to their front door. Once inside, Jack helped Taylor into their room, he took off her shoes and she flopped back onto the covers. Jack went into the bathroom and retrieved a bucket, bringing it out and placing it on the floor in front of Taylor: “Just in case”. “I’m sorry about before Tay”. “I’ll sleep outside if you want”. “Do what you want Jack I don’t care anymore”. Jack stood up, rounded the bed, took his own shoes off and tentatively laid down next to Taylor, slowly moving closer and putting his arm around her. The second she felt how close he was she kicked him hard in the leg, he hissed in pain: “Get away from me”. He shifted so he was as far away as he could be without falling off the bed and turned his back to her, a hush fell over the room which made Taylor suspicious: “You’d better not be crying either, if I hear so much as a sniffle from you I’ll hit you so hard you won’t be able to see straight for a month, then you really will have something to cry about got it”? Jack swallowed: “yeah”. He whispered, biting the pad of his thumb to stop his sobs coming through, when he was sure Taylor had drifted off he allowed the tears to fall slowly down his face being careful not to make a sound.
Jack woke up to the sound of Taylor throwing up the next morning, instinctively he sat up, held her hair back and rubbed her back in soothing circles: “That’s it Tay let it out”. Once she finished he got off the bed, took the bucket from her and whipped her mouth with one of the tissues in the box on the side table: “Thanks babe”. He gave her a small grateful smile: “How you feeling”? “Ugh like I’ve been run over by a truck”. Taylor replied sagging, Jack laughed: “Let me get rid of this then I’ll get you some pain killers”. He gave her a kiss on the top of her head then made his way to the bathroom to dispose of the tissue and vomit: “Thanks Jack”. He heard her call groggily from the bedroom. Having disposed of the sick and the tissue, Jack returned to Taylor with the tablets and water, he handed it to her: “Thanks”. She took the tablets, swallowing them down with water then putting the glass on the side table beside her: “Sorry about last night”. “Me too”. Jack sat beside her on the bed: “You sure you don’t wanna re think this whole no friends thing”? Taylor sighed: “Jack it was one night, I fully intended on coming home straight after work but Ellie and Cody forced my hand, literally”! “If you wanna be mad at someone be mad at them”! “I’m not mad I’m just saying this isn’t easy on either of us, maybe we’re ready to be a bit more lenient with each other now”. “Clearly we’re not if last night was anything to go by”. “Us being social isn’t the issue it’s”- Jack stopped suddenly as Taylor glared at him: “What”? “What’s the issue Jack”? “Coz it sure as hell isn’t me, we haven’t had any issues in ages before last night”. “Yeah because I was surprised not because you went out”. “You really miss your friends so much that you’re willing to jeopardise our marriage over them”? “Of course not I’m just saying it’s not their fault things get out of hand sometimes”. “K well I think it is, or doesn’t what I think matter”? “You know it does Tay, I’m just tired of trying to come up with excuses as to why we can’t hang out or why I’ve suddenly stopped messaging and I know you are too, maybe there’s some sort of compromise we can make, we shouldn’t have to cut everyone else off just to prove we’re each other’s priorities you know”? “Well they can’t miss you that much can they”? “I don’t see anyone dragging you out to have fun against your will, but you know what Jack fine, you want your friends back so much have em”. Taylor stood in frustration: “But don’t complain if things get bad between us again yeah”? Taylor walked out of the room before Jack could say anything further.